Kyalami 9 Hours could be revived in Intercontinental GT Challenge

Attempts are being made to revive the historic Kyalami 9 Hours sportscar race as a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge

Kyalami 9 Hours could be revived in Intercontinental GT Challenge

GT boss Stephane Ratel, who launched the IGTC for this season, has revealed his plans to relaunch the South African event last held in 1982 as part of an expansion plan for the series that incorporates the big GT3 enduros around the world.

The series will grow as scheduled from to three to four rounds next year with the addition of a North American race at Laguna Seca and could then include a fifth event in Africa in 2018.

Ratel said: "There are five continents and we want to grow step by step, so we need to have a race in Africa - and the best idea would be to revive the Kyalami 9 Hours.

"It would be great to do, but at this stage it is only a dream

"It is an idea but, of course, I have been speaking to Kyalami about it."

The 9 Hours was first held at Kyalami in 1961 and continued until 1973.

The fixture subsequently became a six-hour and then a 1000km race before the nine-hour duration was restored for 1981 and '82. Subsequent Kyalami World Sportscar rounds (including 1983, pictured above) reverted to 1000km distance.

Kyalami 9 Hours winners include Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass, Reinhold Joest, Brian Redman and Clay Regazzoni.

The Laguna event will take place on October 15 next year and will be an eight-hour race.

It joins the existing IGTC fixtures at Bathurst, Spa and Sepang and effectively takes the place of the cancelled race set for the Austin circuit this year.

Ratel said he was confident of attracting a strong grid for the race after the cancellation of the Austin race set for March this year through a lack of entries.

"We have four manufacturers registered for the IGTC this year, and if we have one or two more next year and they all enter three cars each, we already have a grid," he explained.

He also pointed out that the race will take place after the end of the Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA SportsCar Championship seasons and would allow local teams to enter their GT3 machinery.

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